Say Philipstown man crossed into path of SUV on Route 9

An investigation by the New York State Police concluded that a bicyclist struck and killed earlier this year on Route 9 in Philipstown by a turning vehicle was at fault for the accident.

Kenn Sapeta

Kenn Sapeta, 67, died at the scene of the March 15 collision. The driver, Kayleigh Matos, 26, of Wappingers Falls, told officers that Sapeta unexpectedly crossed into the path of her Hyundai Kona after she made a left turn from Hustis Road.

The incident and investigator’s reports were obtained from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department through a Freedom of Information Law request.

A Beacon woman who said she was behind Matos’ car on Hustis Road disputed Matos’ account in a statement to The Current that was forwarded to the police. She said Sapeta was struck on the shoulder. But after interviewing the witness, an investigator from the Collision Reconstruction Unit said her statement was based on “personal belief” and was not consistent with physical evidence and footage obtained from a security camera at Bailey Cosmetic & Family Dentistry.

The video did not show the collision, the investigator said in his report, but recorded Sapeta riding north on the shoulder while looking south, apparently because he planned to cross. That was followed by Matos accelerating from the stop sign on Hustis and cutting her turn short over the southbound center turn lane.

The investigator concluded that Sapeta turned from the shoulder into the path of Matos’ vehicle, which was traveling at about 35 mph. The primary cause of the accident, he wrote, was “the failure of the bicyclist to yield the right of way.” Sapeta was killed after striking the driver’s side windshield of the SUV and the pavement.

In August, Sapeta’s widow, Cathryn Sapeta, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Matos in state court in Carmel.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

A former longtime national magazine editor, Rowe has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Idaho and South Dakota and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. Location: Philipstown. Languages: English. Area of Expertise: General.